The United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy. Italy proposed the year in 2003 during a meeting of the International Astronomical Union. It was later endorsed by UNESCO and approved by the UN Assembly in 2007. The celebration offers an opportunity to highlight and better appreciate the most important discoveries in astronomy. It will also focus on the key role astronomy has played throughout history as one of the oldest sciences found in almost all cultures, contributing to scientific education and also to growth in developing countries. The International Year of Astronomy coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observation through a telescope by Galileo. The relationship between science and faith is a relevant theme for the year and the 2 euro coin features this dimension. The top right corner depicts The Creation of the Stars by Michelangelo, and the other corners show ancient and modern instruments used for astronomical observations.